Avoid The Upcoming AI Backlash With Your Sales Teams — Get Them On Board
The rise of AI in sales technology only makes it easier for sales managers to keep tabs on salespeople, salespeople say. AI gives sales managers more visibility into a sales rep’s daily activities and control into the sales process, potentially subverting the spirited sales culture.
In The Wrong Hands, AI Can Be Turned Into A Micromanagement Tool
It’s unfortunate, really, because AI carries lots of promise to help salespeople become more productive. It can automate data entry, surface actionable customer insights, manage sales content creation and delivery, create real-time heat maps and dynamic org charts, and serve up valuable next-best steps to move deals along.
For many salespeople, AI threatens to reduce their role by enabling customers to buy products directly. It may even take over transactional sales completely and undercut sales commissions. Signs of defiance are already appearing. I’ve come across stories of salespeople inputting garbage data to undermine the system or at least hide their tracks.
Get Your Salespeople To Engage With AI In A Meaningful Way
Sales tech doesn’t help salespeople crush quotas. When salespeople aren’t engaged, data quality suffers, and AI can’t deliver good insights; AI needs clean, accurate data to train on, adapt, and produce better results. It’s critical to get salespeople on board.
To get them to engage with the technology in a meaningful way, you should:
- Ask high-performing salespeople what they want from AI. Hint: It’s not generic next-best steps. Be confident that they crave new technology and don’t want to be left behind in the digital age.
- Fix the sales content problem. Many of today’s sales content management systems don’t analyze B2B selling scenarios well nor deliver hyper-targeted sales decks and content, which leaves salespeople to do these important tasks on their own.
- Look into dynamic org charting and real-time heat mapping. Field salespeople hunt for shifting budget centers and pounce on buyer-intent behavior. AI can give these game-changing insights to top producers and help them beat the competition.
I am a senior analyst covering sales technologies, with a focus on sales force automation, configure-price-quote, sales engagement platforms, and analytics. I invite you to join me in the coming months as I take a deep dive into AI-driven approaches in sales technologies that most effectively help companies improve sales outcomes and performance. Connect with me via briefings or inquiries.